Earlier this year, two remarkable authors came to town and changed the way I thought about being Jewish.
On his first day of work in 1985 as executive director of the Hillel Foundation at the University of California at Santa Barbara, Rabbi Stephen Cohen received a telling welcome.
Cohen, a former New Yorker, stepped off the plane and took a cab straight to the University Religion Center (URC), where the offices of Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life are housed. A social worker, prompted by the rabbi's forlorn and scruffy look, invited him to take part in that day's breakfast program for the homeless.
Cohen, 28 at the time, laughed and explained his position.